The Winds of Change are blowing across Zimbabwe where the people are demanding democracy. Here is a blog from within Zimbabwe to get up to date news and the inside scoop of their quest for freedom.
Welcome! My Blog focuses on security and political news, current events, and technology happenings.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
From the extremely helpful Tsunami Blog:
* Magnitude 8.7 earthquake strikes off Indonesia's Sumatra island
* Hundreds may have been killed on Indonesia's Nias island, says police official.
* No immediate reports of a tsunami
* Thousands flee to higher ground on Thailand's southern Andaman Sea coast. Thailand later cancels tsunami alert.
* India issues tsunami warning and orders coastal areas evacuated. It later cancels warning
* Malaysian police advise people on west coast to get out of the path of possible tsunami
* Sri Lanka evacuates coastline but later lifts tsunami alert
* Quake one of eight biggest since 1900 by magnitude
Monday, March 28, 2005
Massive protests for Democracy in Iran, yet completely unreported by the Mainstream Media
Thursday, March 24, 2005
GUN WATCH: "The last ten days have seen three horrific multiple-victim public shootings: the Atlanta courthouse attack that left four murdered; the Wisconsin church shooting, where seven were murdered, and Monday's high-school shooting in Minnesota, where nine were murdered. What can be learned from these attacks? Some take the attacks as confirmation that guns should be completely banned from even courthouses, let alone schools and churches.
All three attacks took place in areas where gun possession by those who did the attack as well as civilians generally was already banned - so-called 'gun-free safe zones.' Suppose you or your family are being stalked by a criminal who intends on harming you. Would you feel safer putting a sign in front of your home saying 'This Home is a Gun-Free Zone'? It is pretty obvious why we don't put these signs up. As with many other gun laws, law-abiding citizens, not would-be criminals, would obey the sign. Instead of creating a safe zone for victims, it leaves victims defenseless and creates a safe zone for those intent on causing harm. "
WINDS OF CHANGE has a war news roundup.
They continue to provide interesting stuff that you don't see elsewhere.
While I don't agree with many of John Pike's political views, his GlobalSecurity.org website is a deep and rich resource on current military and political news. He reviews the current "conflicts" (a.k.a. wars) going on in the world.
Nick Kristof writes:
The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970's.
"If we had the chance to go back to white rule, we'd do it," said Solomon Dube, a peasant whose child was crying with hunger when I arrived in his village. "Life was easier then, and at least you could get food and a job." . . .
When a white racist government was oppressing Zimbabwe, the international community united to demand change. These days, a black racist government is harming the people of Zimbabwe more than ever, and the international community is letting Mr. Mugabe get away with it. Our hypocrisy is costing hundreds of Zimbabwean lives every day.
Change sure is tearing through the world. Kyrgyzstan sure looks like the next to fall to the people’s will. Stay tuned…
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
From the Regime Change Iran Blog: "Converging U.S. Navy aircraft carrier groups in Middle East send strong message to Iran and Syria"
hehe, yah. ya think? If I were No-Chin Assad, or Mad Mullah Khameini, I'd be diggin myself plenty of spider holes.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
A Laser Hummer!
I am so there. I am now accepting donations to go towards my laser Hummer fund. I probably will also get it in a different color... How does black sound?
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
A fellow blogger weighs in on the A310's falliable rudder.
UPDATE: Here are pictures of the A310's rudder (or lack thereof). There have been reports that the A310 flight to Quebec from Cuba on March 7 was not allowed to land in the US due to customs issues. That is because the pilots never declared an emergency. They chose to return to Cuba. If they had declared an emergency, they would have been allowed to land wherever they wanted.
And while we're on the subject, here is a more in-depth post on the A310's rudder.
And here is the original news article.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Thanks to LGF for this. There is an officially sanctioned speaker at UC Irvine spewing anti-semetic rants and disgusting justifiications for blowing up babies on busses and teenagers in discotechs. Video available here, and news arrticle available here.
In the center quad at UC Irvine, Amir Abdel Malik Ali stands before a crowd
of 150, his hands clutching a podium bearing the message, “Desperation of the
“Zionism is a mixture, a fusion of the concept of white supremacy and the chosen people,” the Oakland-based Muslim religious leader and teacher told the audience at the Feb. 2 Muslim Student Union (MSU)-organized event.
Malik Ali unleashed an attack about the Zionist control of the
American media, Zionist complicity in the war in Iraq and Zionists’ ability to
deflect justified criticism.
“You will have to hear more about the Holocaust
when you accuse them of their Nazi behavior,” he told the group of mostly Muslim
At a time when Israeli and Palestinian leaders are taking baby
steps toward a peaceful two-state solution, Malik Ali made it clear that he had
a different vision.
“One state. Majority rule,” he said to rousing applause.
“Check that out. Us. The Muslims.”
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Have you seen the Tiger Woods ad blitz by Accenture? Well, they're awesome. Here is the ad campaign's website with pdf's available for download (scroll down). I hate to feed in to advertising, but when it's Tiger, it's inspirational.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Peter Lu of Harvard discovered ancient Chinese use of diamond polishing for an axe - mirror-smooth to a millionth of a meter, from 4000 B.C. That is the same smoothness as a silicone wafer used in electronics today - polished with the most advanced modern tools. You think we're getting somewhere technologically? It has all been done before - in ages past.
Peter's web site. His research paper [pdf,357k]
Whoa. I see pigs flying and cats chasing dogs. The Independent is a rabid hater of Bush, America, and in my opinion, democracy. To see this on the front page is like seeing [insert here the most weirdly flipped situation].
Little Green Footballs post.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Freedom’s Winds of Change
1) Huge Lebanese protests – Anti-Syria (and many Arab nations warn Syria)
2) Moroccan protests – Anti-Algeria
3) Kuwaiti women demonstrate for suffrage.
4) Afghan attacks decrease markedly.
5) Protests in Kyrgyztan (where?) and emergency parliament session there.
6) Azerbaijanis protest murdered anti-government journalist
Hey, G.W. called it, didn’t he?
Thanks for standing your ground, Mr. President, and following through with what you (and I) believe is right.
Enjoy the show! I know I will.
Update: Tuesday Mar. 8
7) Protests in Iran - for women's rights.
8) Kyrgystan's protests now spreading throughout the country. More information here.
9) Thousands of women protesting in Pakistan.
Feel the Fever? The Indepentent has!
Thursday, March 03, 2005
It's time. I've had it with the credit card offers, life insurance quotes, and "unbelievable opportunities" being mailed to my house. And there is a way to "Opt Out". I am live-blogging (blogging as it happens) my opt-out experience and hope that the information can help you out in retaining (obtaining?) peace of mind.
I found out about a phone number put out by the credit reporting agencies (equifax, experien, etc.) to "opt out" of letting them share your personal information. Please ignore the fact that they should be the ones asking my permission to send out private information. The phone number is 1-888-5OPT-OUT. Well, I called, and the nice lady recording gave me a website www.optoutprescreen.com Great. I'm rollin.
When the site was pulled up, though, it looked kinda funny, and was asking for all of my private information. I was understandably hesitant, as I'm sure all of you savvy readers NEVER give out ANY information to anyone. So, they ask for my address, SS#, Birthdate, and my first dog's favorite food (all but the last one). This is something you never give out without proper background checks.
So with the trusted help of my good friend Google (who is on my bad side right now since they won't list Little Green Footballs as a news source), I found a fellow blogger who has gone through the same thing as myself - Dave. His nice readers forwarded me to EPIC.org, a privacy lobby in washington who support the opt out site and even give a redirect page to it (no direct links to www.optoutprescreen.com because I think the credit companies want to make it harder to 'Opt out') Not convinced yet? Neither was I.
Dave's readers kindly placed this link to the BBB ID theft prevention recomendations, of which, the Opt Out phone number is one of many methods. Convinced? I am. But I won't sign up the DigitalWife until I come out unscathed.
Time to go for the gold... I have three choices: Opt In (shah right), opt out for 5 years, and opt out forever. The last one is my choice.
Oh, they only give me ten minutes to fill out my information. Why? It makes no sense to me other than that they are trying to make it more difficult for the slower population to complete the opt out. In any case, I am running out of time. brb.
I must confirm this information, am I sure? Should I lose out on the opportunity of receiving such wonderous offers? I think so.
Must type in a scambled security code... choose between four different confirmation buttons (to confuse the elderly and non-computer-savvy) Click "Confirm".
Yay! It's done! I get the normal disclaimers - you might get mailings from companies for the next few months, and also from companies who get my name from other sources.
In any case, I will report back with information on how Opt Out works ( I will have the DigitalWife to compare to).
P.S., If you're annoyed by telemarketers, go to www.donotcall.gov - it's legit... trust me!
The Global Flyer is almost back to Salina, Kansas, four days after he left. Click here to watch the landing live, starting at 2:00 pm eastern, 11:00 am pacific. Here is a news story on it, and here is their main web page (which is overloaded at the moment.
If I might add, a Williams International FJ44-2C engine has made this whole circumnavigation possible. We have the most fuel efficient and reliable engines in the market (no bias included).
Update: He Made it!! Yay!
This week I was fortunate to fly on what can be accurately termed the Ferrari of the skies – the Cessna Citation X. Let me walk you through my experience, and hopefully I will convey some of the breathtaking aspects of this powerful, luxurious, and utterly beautiful aircraft.
Walking up to the airplane, you get a sense of caged power. This is partly due to the disproportionably large engines. It is also due to the sleek shape of the fuselage and wings giving the appearance of a crouching jaguar ready to leap. (Please check out the Citation X website for some pictures – you’ll see what I mean). The engines are Rolls-Royce AE 3007C-1’s each rated at 6,760 pounds thrust, 13,500 total. That’s quite a push for a plane with a max T/O weight of 36,000 pounds. Walking in to the plane you get overwhelmed with the smell of money – pure, unadulterated money. Wood veneer everywhere, gold color plated fixtures, and plush, wide leather seats. The configuration I flew in was eight passenger club configuration (4 and 4) with the ability to seat two more passengers – one in a jump seat, and the other in the lavatory (which is extremely posh too). If you can, choose a forward facing seat. I learned the hard way that rear facing seats forces you to hang on for dear life during the most exhilarating civilian takeoff around!
The takeoff felt like a drag race. We turned on to the runway, then the pilot opened the throttle. There was no engine spool up, no gradual seep increase; this caged jaguar leaped down the runway and with your heart in your throat, watching the ground fly by, you can’t help but grin. At about 170 knots (200 mph), only about 4,500 feet down the runway, she gracefully becomes airborne and begins the climb up to a cruising altitude of about 45,000 feet (takes about 20 minutes), but can go up to 51,000. She will be darting through the skies at a whopping Mach .92, or over 600 mph ground speed! (or 10 miles a minute, or a mile every six seconds) I saw this incredible speed first hand. The clouds and ground really move under your feet, and it really felt as if I were flying lower than I actually was, due to that relative motion. But a glance at the personal monitors confirmed that we were flying at 44,000 feet, and 570 knots! And the ground was moving fast!
I explored the galley, systematically opening up random drawers and cabinets, revealing a decked out all-you-need station – from refrigerated water to fresh brewed coffee and snacks; the only thing missing was a key to the locked liquor cabinet – drats!
I chatted up the pilots, who really enjoyed flying this airborne Ferrari, with full avionics, navigation, traffic and ground warnings. They adored the strong thrust reversers (up to 70% of thrust!) and said they could stop on a virtual dime, with landing distances much shorter than other smaller biz jets.
The aft section of the fuselage is the lavatory with a sliding door. It felt very spacious, and very luxurious. Wood, mirrors, and gold chrome adorned everything from the sink to the walls. Drawers were stocked with anything you might need – really - everything. From deodorant to q-tips, this bathroom had it all. If you do ever get stuck on the lavatory seat, don’t complain too much – there is only a slight smell of Lysol, and with a plethora of cabinets to explore, you’ll never get bored!
Not that you’d have time to get bored because the flight is so fast! From Detroit to Wichita (820 miles), I only had an hour and a half to read the paper and some of a book before we landed, again, gracefully.
The whole experience was spectacular – everyone should try it. Everyone should get a Citation X for that matter – all you need is a spare $20 million and a love for thrills.
I have been invited to guest blog over at IAG-Inc's blog. IAG deals with aviation industry trends and issues, and I am honored to be included in their ranks. Check it out if you get a sec!
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The Darfur killings and other horrible attrocities are going strong, according to the State Dapartment. Their report is Here.
WASHINGTON, Sudan's government and the militia it supports persist in committing atrocities in the Darfur region despite repeated promises to end brutal abuses and killings, the U.S. State Department says.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed over the past two years, many as a result of disease and hunger, and more than 1.8 million displaced from Darfur in fighting which the United States has called genocide.
"Despite the government's repeated commitments to refrain from further violence in Darfur, the atrocities continued," said the State Department's annual report of human rights abuses worldwide, published Monday.
Last year, then Secretary of State Colin Powell concluded genocide was being committed against the people of Darfur and that Sudan's government and the Janjaweed militia bore responsibility.
The United States wants the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions against Sudan but China and Russia have opposed such penalties, particularly on oil.